Human Hands

  • Human Hands
  • Hereafter (Nate Starkman & Son) 1988 

This turn-of-the-decade LA quintet featured such future stars of the California underground as drummer Dennis Duck (Dream Syndicate), guitarist Juan Gomez (Romans) and keyboardist Bill Noland (Wall of Voodoo). Although Human Hands never recorded an album proper, a limited-edition (and now hopelessly rare) two-disc demos/live compilation was issued by Independent Projects in 1982.

Assembling Human Hands’ few singles, compilation contributions and a few items from the first LP, Hereafter is an intriguing document of an ambitious outfit with lots of good ideas and uncommon influences. Pleasantly comparable in spots to pop groups like the Monochrome Set or Yachts, but also capable of disturbing art/jazz angles and fringey experiments (like Duck’s percussion/found-sound/tape manipulation piece, “In the Heart of China”), Human Hands are not the missing link or anything. But Hereafter does add a neat paragraph to West Coast rock history.

[Ira Robbins]

See also: Dream Syndicate, Wall of Voodoo